2020 predicted to be warmest year on record
May 13, 2020 - This year is predicted to be the warmest on record, with the first three months already the second warmest to date.
Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) believe that 2020 has a 75% chance of being the warmest year on record for planet Earth.
The first three months of the year are the second-warmest on record, beaten only the El Niño year of 2016 – a cyclical warming of the Pacific Ocean that occurs irregularly approximately every two to seven years, and influences temperatures worldwide.
What makes this year's prediction unusual is that 2020 is not a strong El Niño year. In fact February and March were the warmest months on record without an El Niño present.
Record hot January to March temperatures were witnessed across parts of Europe, Asia, Central and South America, as well as the Atlantic, Indian and western Pacific Oceans.
The 10 warmest Marches have all occurred since 1990. March 2020 was the 44th consecutive March and the 423rd consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th-century average.
NOAA understands that the long-term trend of climbing temperatures is primarily because of greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.